Here’s a collection of projects we like! Many of these projects we’ve adapted from more complex versions we found on the web.
For anyone with some experience building Arduino projects, they should each take about 1-3 hours to build from start to finish.
LED Matrix Pong is a simple implementation of the old Atari Pong game, written for Arduino. Two potentiometers control the two paddles, and the “ball” bounces between them. A little bit of structure keeps track of points and shows the winner. The ball and paddles are displayed on a 16x24 Red LED Matrix, like this one from Adafruit.
Requires minimal soldering skill; heavy on the programming.
The ArcBot uses two servo motors to draw concentric arcs. In this version, you control the servos with two potentiometers.
Inspired by the Arc-o-Matic drawing bot.
The Breadboard Piano plays tones as you move a wire between sockets on your breadboard. When you close one of five circuits, Arduino plays one of five different tones. By moving the wire between sockets, you choose which tone to play.
The IR Remote receiver reads messages sent by common remote controls. Attach it to a robot or a few servos to make a remote-controlled project!
The LED Strip contains up to 160 individually-controllable RGB LEDs. Use them in your lounge or in a club!
The stopwatch project uses the LCD character display and two buttons to keep track of two different timers. It’s a great introduction to non-blocking timers!
The over-temperature alarm displays the temperature and alarm state on an LCD character display. It’s a great introduction to state machines.
The secret door knocker uses a piezo element to record and detect your secret knock pattern, then turns a servo motor that you can connect to your door lock. Press the button to record a knock pattern, then test it by knocking.
The Electronic Etch-a-Sketch™ uses two rotary potentiometers as inputs, and a Processing sketch as an output. The Arduino coninunously sends an X and a Y coordinate over the Serial interface. The Processing sketch uses these coordinates to move a draw pointer around a window, tracing as it does so, just like an Etch-a-Sketch™.
LED Matrix Graph is a simple program to track two physical values over time. Start with two potentiometers; variations replace the potentiometers with Light-dependent Resistors (LDRs), then with capacitive sensors. The two values are graphically represented on a 16x24 Red LED Matrix, like this one from Adafruit.
Requires minimal soldering skill; moderately complex programming.
The capacitive keyboard shows how to use capacitive sensing to handle six values at a time. Tapping the keys sends data to a Processing sketch that shows how much you’re pressing on the kays and plays “notes” based on your taps.
Requires minimal wiring skill; moderately complex programming.
The remote control cardboard box robot uses a standard (“universal”) infrared TV remote and a infrared receiver to control a cardboard box with two motorized wheels. You analyze your remote to see what messages it’s sending, and use your data to choose which buttons cause which actions on the box robot.
Laser Tripwire is a simple implementation of a laser-triggered alarm. A light-dependent resistor in a voltage divider circuit is kept low by shining a laser on it. Interrupting that laser beam sends the analog input over a threshold, triggering the alarm and sounding a buzzer until a reset button is pressed.
Make a musical instrument that you play without actually touching it! The arduino theremin can be played using your hand, and can play multiple tones.